Maa Ambika Bhawani also known as Parvati, Gauri, Durga, is a Hindu Goddess. She is the mild aspect of Mahadevi, who in Hindu mythology known as the great Goddess. The deity is considered to be the whole personification of Adi Parashakti, with all other deities being her manifestations or incarnations.
The temple dedicated to Maa Ambika Bhawani is considered one of the most popular shrines of India. This holy place is situated in Bihar’s Chappra District in the city Aami village. The name of the town is originated from the temple. The main deity of this shrine is Goddess Durga and the idol that people worship is completely made up of soil called “Pinda”.
The place featuring this temple is located at a distance of 37 km east of Chhapra & 4 km west of Dighwara. It is on National highway No.-19, which is around 50 kms away from Patna, Bihar’s Capital town. In the Ami village there is an ancient place of worship, which is called ‘Amba Asthan’. Close to the shrine there is a garden along with a deep & wide well that remains filled with water throughout the year. The well never dries up according to people. The worshippers from far flung areas pay a visit to the Yagna Kunda over this place. The devotees come here to pay their reverence to Goddess in Navaratra of April & October. Water offered by lacs of devotees in the Kunda gets disappeared.
There is a belief associated with the temple is that one who worships over here, his/her wishes get fulfilled by the Goddess. Hence in Dussehera, worshippers from different places gather here to obtain the divine blessing.
There is also a small town around 3 km from Ambika Asthan, ‘Dighwara’. Previously it was supposed to known as ‘Dirgh-dwara’, the main gate, which was the chief gate of King Daksh’s yagna area.
History & Culture
The description of Aami Mandir can be found in Shiva Purana & Markandeya Purana. According to these Puranas, the place is considered the highest Shiva Tandava Dance stage in the whole world. The records say that Raja Daksha, the son of Lord Brahma was a powerful king and was the father of Sati (an incarnation of Goddess Parvati). Sati wished to marry Lord Shiva. Daksha denied it, but Sati defied him and married Lord Shiva.
The huge Yagna Kunda also holds a history that goes like this. King Daksha after Sati’s disobeying behavior distanced himself from her and his son-in-law, Lord Shiva. This hostility culminated in an immense sacrifice, which the king had been hosting. For the yagna, he invited all his family members and allies, gods & rishis and others. Intentionally not including Sati in the list, he arranged a statute of Shiva & defied as well as mocked at the entry of his hall. Sati, on the other hand though that she would definitely be welcomed by his father and she went to attend the celebration.
When she entered the hall, she came across the shameless insult of her husband in her absence. The repeated slights of King Daksha & his courtiers at Lord Shiva made her sad. And she committed suicide by jumping in the burning yagna kunda. After hearing this sad news, the attendants of Shiva rushed in the ceremony hall & a battle started. The demons invoked by the Bhrigu conquered Shiva’s attendants. When Lord Shiva heard this news, he became furious over Daksha and believed that the king has heartlessly caused harm to his daughter. He grabbed a lock of his tangled mane & dashed it to the land. The vicious Virabhadra & the dreadful Rudrakali rose from the two pieces, while the Bhadrakali, occurred from the rage of Devi herself.
Upon the orders of Shiva, they stormed the whole ceremony & killed Daksha along with his guests. Horrified & with remorse, the others begged Lord Shiva for his clemency to bring back Daksha’s life & permit the sacrifice to be finished. Shiva, the kindest one, restored the King’s life, but with a goat’s head. Shiva, after hearing his beloved’s death performed the great Tandava.
In her next life, Sati incarnated as Parvati and again got married to Shiva.
Important Festival & Celebration: As this shrine is devoted to Deity Ambika, Navarati (Dusshera) is celebrated & a small fair is also organized by the locals of Aami village. People also organize Shivaratri with excitement and the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva & Sati took place.
Shiv-Vivah is of utmost importance, which people celebrate each year the way, Lord Shiva performed.